Leica announces its interpretation of Panasonic's Lumix FX01 ultra compact digicam while details are emerging of a Panasonic Lumix version of Leica's M7 film rangefinder camera
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Yet to be confirmed, but reports are coming in of a Panasonic Lumix-badged Leica M7 apparently to celebrate five years of Leica/Panasonic collaboration.
Panasonic was a late entrant into the mainstream digital camera market, but with the assistance of Leica Camera it is well on the way to being one of the elite big players in the digital camera market, already occupying the best-seller spot in the Japanese market with its FX-line of ultra compact models.
Earlier this year, Panasonic introduced the latest FX model, the FX01, with a new wide-angle (28-102mm equiv) Leica-branded zoom lens. As is now the trend, Leica has unveiled its interpretation of the Panasonic-designed camera in the form of the Leica C-Lux 1.
Controversially, the new Leica C-Lux 1 is based on Panasonic's Lumix ultra-compact FX01.
The FX01 does not offer full manual exposure control options and the Leica version is already attracting some critical comment on Leica's own discussion forums. But it does have a 28mm (equiv) wide angle lens, which does balance things.
In addition, Leica has broadly admitted in the last few days, through an interview in LFI magazine that it is actively developing its own version of the Panasonic Lumix L-1 DSLR announced at PMA a month ago.
But the surprise news is that reports are coming in from Japan that Panasonic is going to celebrate its 5th year of collaboration with Leica with a Lumix-branded Leica M7 rangefinder body. This will be a film camera, not a digital M. We understand it will be a limited edition run of just 500 units and the 'L' lumix logo on the front plate of the body will be in 24 carat gold. No pricing or availability date are yet available. We are indebted to Osaka-based DPNow reader, Yuji Suzuki, for this information and picture.
DPNow wonders if Panasonic will go the whole way and include a Panasonic-designed lens, maybe made by Leica in Germany, to go with the body. Now that would be cool.